Latest News

It’s been a long, long time since Watford City has seen over 700 students enrolled in its school system. But the days of rising enrollment seem to be back and school officials couldn’t be happier.

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Usually farmers in western North Dakota are singing, dancing or even praying for rain. But this season many farmers seem to have changed their tune.

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Good times are in store for those who live in Alexander and its surrounding area as the community hosts its 66th annual Old Settlers’ Day celebration.

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There won’t be any more temporary work force housing units going up within the city of Watford City or within the one-mile Extraterritorial Zoning Area (ETA).

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With thousands of oilfield-related trucks now traveling U.S. Highway 85 on a daily basis, the number one question on the minds of area residents is, “What improvements are in the works for this highway?”

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August 24, 2011

Boom’n Bakken

5,000 new rigs to be drilled in the next two years

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Every dawn has its day. For a school system, that day is now, and the dawn is enrollment.

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Just like that Ribfest has come and gone, but it will have people smiling every time they think about the fun they had.

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During a time when the rest of the world is in an economic slump, western North Dakota is thriving in its own bubble.

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Watford City will be able to expand its city water and sewer services to serve an ever-growing community thanks to a $12.3 million grant from the Board of University and School Lands (Land Board).

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All good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more good to come. After 35 years of dedication to the Alexander Public School, Murry Kline recently retired. To fill his place is Mike Klabo, a former administrator at Burke Central.

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August 3, 2011

The boom is here to stay

If you made it out to the Bakken Rocks CookFest, then you enjoyed good food, a fun atmosphere, music, and information on the oil industry’s activities in the Bakken oil play in western North Dakota.

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Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s economic activity continues to be among the most healthy in the state thanks in a large part to a very robust energy industry.

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Many would agree that the oil boom has changed the face of McKenzie County, as well as the faces of those who now call this area home.

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The saying, Patience is a virtue, is a good one to keep in mind when it comes to battling the constant road construction around Watford City.

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“What’s not going on here in the way of crime,” says Slade Herfindahl, Watford City Police chief. “From burglaries to civil and domestic disturbances to vehicle stops, we’re seeing it all. And the number of incidents is going through the roof.

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McKenzie County has more than its share of everyday heroes.

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To say that businesses in Watford City need workers is an understatement.

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Fireworks were definitely on the minds of Watford City council members during their July 5 meeting as the council, along with the city’s police chief and fire chief shared their thoughts on whether or not the city should consider banning fireworks in the future.

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It is time to enjoy some “Summer Days and Country Ways” as the McKenzie County Fair comes to Watford City July 14 - 16.

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Traffic, traffic, everywhere, and hardly space to share. Many would agree that Watford City is losing its small-town feel. The increase in business and people has brought with it increased traffic, causing longer commutes, limited parking and road congestion. But there is good news. Northwest Dakota Public Transit (NWDPT) is hoping to help.

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The city of Arnegard could very well be on the brink of seeing the biggest population boom that it has ever seen within the next few months.

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Cars ramming into each other until they are nothing, but mangled metal seems to be a popular event around these parts.

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Christine (Bruins) Schmaltzhas an extraordinary gift that allowed her to run a personal record (P.R.) of 2:01.17 in the open 800 meter run at the U.S. Championships. That time qualified Schmaltz for the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. June 22 - July 1, 2012.

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While McKenzie County seems to have gotten along just fine the past 100 years with a “no zoning” approach to land use planning, the winds of progress may be forcing the county commissioners and county residents to rethink that philosophy.

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To say that the huge upswing in oil activity in McKenzie County is having an impact on McKenzie Electric Cooperative would be an understatement.

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While school has only been out for just over a month, Steven Holen, district superintendent, informed the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board at its meeting on Monday, June 20, that there is plenty of activity going on at the elementary school.

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County roads in McKenzie County have been taking a severe beating due to increased oilfield traffic over the past several years. And fixing the main roads that serve the oilfield’s needs, as well as county residents, is going to come with a big price tag.

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The excitement is in the air as Homefest nears.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER